Vodacom tightens noose on BlackBerry users
South African mobile operator Vodacom has started the implementation of new measures that will prevent users from abusing BlackBerry’s fixed-fee unlimited internet browsing.
It was revealed last year that 5% of the BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) users were circumventing preventative measures and used the service for excessive downloading – slowing down the network for legitimate surfers.
With the new Vodacom system in place and BlackBerry users moved over, priority traffic will be given to users who comply with the regulations during peak hours. It’s essentially a throttling mechanism, limiting the speed of big downloaders, resulting in less traffic being generated.
Although all BlackBerry users on the Vodacom network have been moved over to the newly-implemented system, there won’t be an impact in their surfing speeds.
“There is no impact on normal usage of the BlackBerry service,” said Richard Boorman, Vodacom’s Head of Corporate Affairs. He also added that the new system will function as an internet traffic monitoring service, which will keep track of users’ behaviour through a set of parameters. “These parameters can include applications, protocols, users, URLs and other criteria.”
When Vodacom noticed a sharp increase in the use of internet traffic through BlackBerry devices, the network’s investigation discovered that 50 000 was creating the same amount of internet traffic as the remaining 1.6-million BlackBerry subscribers. Vodacom CEO Pieter Uys also revealed that only one user managed to download a shocking 332GB of data in a single month.
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor